Virtual Campus at Sun
Sun's own "immersive" project is called MPK20. The company's campus in Menlo Park, Calif., has 19 buildings, MPK1 through MPK19. MPK20 is actually a virtual building, no bricks and mortar. Sun employees logged in to this virtual world come to work in the morning by guiding their avatars through the "front door," then head into their "cubes" to check e-mail. Later, they may visit the "water cooler" and talk to colleagues.
They can work, talk to each other, go to meetings, go out for a walk-do anything an employee regularly does, only it's on a screen.
He also suggested that these colleges and universities -- of which some endowments are growing exponentially [such as Stanford, Harvard, and other private schools] -- could make their money at later dates from the companies that hire their graduates.
"If they've had the use of a good employee for, say, five years, somebody who's helped them do good business and make money, then I'll bet they'll consider it," McNealy said.
School officials in the audience, who came from as far away as New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Russia, seemed enthused by McNealy's presentation. A question to McNealy came from the audience: "This is something that should be a campaign issue, the idea of this new [open source] education. Have you taken this to any of the [presidential] campaigns?" McNealy acted sheepish as he delivered his answer. "Well, I'm a little intimidated about going to the Obama and Clinton people," he said. "I'm afraid they'll see me as just another capitalist Republican CEO trying to make more money for his company. I do have an appointment with McCain's education chief next week. "The only one I've talked to about this so far is Mitt Romney, and that's not going to do us much good at this point."